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Domaine Famille Ligneres: Notre Dame, Corbieres, 2002

April 17, 2008

~US$30, 100% Syrah, Corbieres France

Months ago, I tried the Ligneres Aric, a blended wine from Southern France that brought serious barnyard funk at a fairly steep price. When I saw the estates’s top wine on sale, the Notre Dame (100% Syrah) I figured the domaine was worth another try. Glad I did.

The 2002 vintage is generally considered a poor one in Southern France, especially parts of Bordeaux and the Rhone (Burgundy and the Loire seemed to avoid the rains of doom, somehow) – but you wouldn’t know it by tasting the Notre Dame. The nose speaks of big red fruit blended with dried herbs, pepper, and leather. A sexy balance of old and new-world styles and flavors. The palate is very polished and lush – it’s one of those wines that just hit on all the cylinders and its hard to find fault with. The finish shows a good bit of oak spice, but a pleasant bitterness lifts what could’ve been a too saccharine finish. 13.5% ABV = Thank you very much. Perfectly integrated tannins make for a big, delicious and balanced Syrah – the bottle was gone before I could dive any deeper into the flavors. I’d put this up against any similarly priced California Syrah, especially in terms of distinctiveness, balance, and palate.

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